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Prevent Your Child From Bullying

By | Preschool

When you start sending your young child to school, you may fear that they’ll become a victim of bullying. But what if your child is the one bullying others? Whether it’s a phone call from your child’s school, another parent or your own notice of some troubling signs, you’ve likely realized that bullying is a behavior that needs to be nipped in the bud. But how?

In this post, we’ll discuss some signs potentially indicating that your child has become a bully. We’ll also provide some suggestions on how to address this issue with your preschool or elementary-aged child to help them stop bullying.

How to Recognize It If Your Child Is Bullying

When children start preschool, there are bound to be fights. It’s common for kids to tease and quarrel with others at this age, but bullying goes beyond mildly insensitive behavior. If your child is consistently picking on another child who is smaller, shy, weaker or different from them, it’s considered bullying. Bullies pick targets and try to control them either through fear or manipulation. A bully also usually puts their actions on display in front of other children watching.

If you’re not sure your child is a bully, keep in mind that certain signals of bullying are obvious, like:

  • Taunting
  • Threatening
  • Shoving
  • Getting into trouble at school

However, bullying can also be subtle and harder to detect. Pay attention if your child is:

  • Purposefully excluding other kids
  • Whispering insults behind another’s back
  • Showing obsession with popularity
  • Talking about other kids negatively or in an aggressive way
  • Possessing toys, money or other things that don’t belong to them

Teaching Your Kid Not to Bully Others

You may be shocked or saddened to learn that your child is picking on other children, especially if they don’t display that kind of behavior at home. Fortunately, you can take steps to help your child stop bullying.

The most important thing is for you to deal with it immediately. Delay can lead to more aggressive or antisocial behavior. Being a bully can also interfere with your child’s performance at school and their ability to make meaningful friendships.

Address the Bullying Right Away

Once you learn that your child is bullying another child, you should address the behavior right away. By doing so, you’ll let your kid know that you’re aware of what’s going on and that bullying will not be tolerated.

You may need to explain to your preschooler or elementary-aged child what bullying is. During your conversation, stay calm. Listen to their side and avoid casting any blame. However, your child needs to know that you want their bullying to stop immediately. This may be a good opportunity for your child to learn that it’s okay to admit to making a mistake.

Determine the Root Cause

Talk with your child not only about what they’re doing but also about why they might be doing it. To develop a plan of discipline, you’ll need to know why they chose to bully another child. This time isn’t important to give your child an excuse for their behavior, but so that you know how to address their poor choices and discipline them appropriately.

Kids bully for many reasons, including:

  • As a way of coping with the bullying they’ve endured
  • A desire to be popular and part of a clique
  • Feelings of insecurity
  • Not knowing that it’s wrong to pick on kids who are different
  • A desire to copy the behavior of their peers or unkind interactions at home

Teach Your Child Empathy, Respect and Kindness

Just like any skill, children need to learn to treat others with kindness. This lesson starts with you showing them that it’s wrong to ridicule differences in others, whether it’s how they look, their gender or any special needs. Try to instill a sense of empathy for those who are different. Start by asking questions:

  • Is what you did kind?
  • Did you hurt someone’s feelings?
  • Would you like someone to do that to you?
  • How do you think that made the other person feel?

Emphasize the importance of treating others fairly and with compassion. Let them know that in your family, you respect people who are different.

Develop Appropriate Consequences and Discipline

As you explain why bullying is not okay, discuss the consequences of your child’s behavior. The point is to show them that their bullying behavior will not be tolerated and that it has consequences. Losing privileges is a popular form of discipline, including not being able to see a friend who may have been involved in the bullying incidents or taking away electronics.

Along with the discipline, show your child that they have a choice when it comes to bullying. Explain how they can change their behavior. This process may involve your little one learning new skills like:

  • Managing anger
  • Controlling impulses
  • Finding value in themselves if they have self-esteem issues
  • Forming healthy friendships
  • Resisting peer pressure

A Safe and Nurturing Early Education Experience at Haymarket Children’s Academy

Whether your young child has struggled with bullying or has been the victim of a bully, we invite you to learn about a different kind of early education experience at Haymarket Children’s Academy in Gainesville, VA. We’re passionate about creating a place where children can come to feel nurtured, encouraged and safe. Our fun learning environment allows them to develop and thrive as they learn to be inclusive, honest and confident individuals.

If you would like to learn more about our safe and secure learning environment, contact us today or schedule your tour online.

Tips to Teach Kids About Money

By | Learning & Development

As a parent, it’s never too early to start instilling good habits into your little one. Teaching them important money lessons while they’re still kids is giving them knowledge that will last them a lifetime. Financial skills are an essential aspect of navigating life, so it’s surprising that many kids don’t begin considering money until they’re well into their teens. That said, children as young as three years old can grasp concepts about money, such as spending and saving.

If you’re ready to teach your children about money but you’re not sure how to get started, check out the below tips for helping school-aged children grasp important money principles. Learning about money doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you may find that your child has fun with many of these lessons.

Lead by Example

You are your child’s chief role model, so if you’re practicing good money habits, your child will likely learn from your example. Kids as young as seven years old form lifelong money habits. If you set a healthy example for them to follow, your child will be more likely to have a healthier and more level-headed attitude about money.

Play Store

Make learning about money fun. Buy a toy cash register and play store to teach your child the basics of managing their money and adding up prices.

Once they understand this basic concept, it’s time to let them help you shop. The most valuable lessons happen when children have money of their own to spend. When you go to the store with your child, try giving them $2 to help you choose the family’s groceries. You can give them options about what they can buy, which will provide them with the experience of making choices with money.

Use Jars for Saving, Spending and Sharing

When your child is old enough to receive money, whether for their birthday or for doing chores, give them a visual representation of what having money of their own entails. While most kids spend every dollar they get immediately, even young children can learn a better way.

Label three jars — one for saving, one for spending and one for sharing. When your child gets money, have them divide it equally among the jars. They can use their spending jar for anything they wish, such as inexpensive candy or toys. The sharing jar is to be used to help someone else. The savings jar can be put toward more expensive items.

Help Your Child Set a Savings Goal

If your child wants to buy a toy or another item that’s a little pricey, teach them the concept of saving. It’s important, however, to set them up for success. If it’s something they won’t be able to afford for months, offer to match their savings so that they can reach their goal within a reasonable time frame.

Show Them That Stuff Costs Money

More and more, we rely on swiping a card rather than using cash. This simple act doesn’t allow them to see that money is finite. Instead, take cash to the store so that they can see you use it. When it’s time for them to spend their own money, grab a few dollars out of their jar, and let them hand the money to the cashier. The action of handing over their cash will teach them more than a lecture about finances.

Avoid Impulse Buys

Whether it’s you or your child, avoid the allure of impulse buys. If your child has saved money and now wants to use it to buy something, have them wait at least a day before purchasing anything over $15. This waiting period will teach them to have a level head when it comes to making any decisions about their money.

Encourage Charitable Giving

While saving is an essential aspect of being responsible with one’s money, so is giving to others. With the money they save in their sharing jar, let them choose who to share these finances with, whether it’s a charity, church or someone they know who needs help. This jar will help them see that money is a tool that can be used to help others.

Fostering Inspired Learning at Haymarket Children’s Academy

For a premier early education experience in the Gainesville, Virginia area, you won’t find a better option than Haymarket Children’s Academy. Providing play-based learning, our highly experienced team of caregivers give lessons that foster inspired learning in young children. Whether we’re teaching lessons that will instill in your child the value of money or encourage them to grow and thrive with meaningful values like diversity and integrity, we strive every day to facilitate educational growth in the children under our care.

If you would like to learn more, contact us today or set up a time to tour our Gainesville facility.

Teaching Kids About Honesty

By | Learning & Development

Every parent wants to raise kids who tell the truth. However, as your child grows in independence and develops a mind of their own, you may notice that they start telling little white lies or even big whoppers. Beginning at the age of two, your child develops the cognitive ability to weave stories that fit what they want or need.

Some kids lie to avoid getting in trouble. Others fabricate lies to get something they want. You may be troubled by this dishonesty, but it’s important to know that lying is normal for young children. In fact, all kids lie. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should let it slide. Honesty is a core value that you can instill into your child at a very young age.

No matter how little you’re child may be, here are seven ways to begin teaching your children to be honest.

1. Make Honesty a Positive Focus in Your Family

While they’re still young, you can begin to tell and show your children that honesty is an important value to your family. By using age-appropriate language, let them know explicitly that lying breaks trust and that families need to be able to believe what they tell each other is true.

2. Set an Example of Honesty

To teach honesty, you must set an example of honesty. While it can be difficult, especially with sensitive topics, avoid lying to your child. It’s better to let them know that some things are hard to talk about — such as death, illness or divorce — than to try to cover these topics up. You are your child’s primary role model, so you can’t expect them to tell the truth if you’re not honest with them. That said, you need to keep your answer child-appropriate, and it’s okay to create appropriate boundaries around private matters.

3. Don’t Ask Questions When You Know the Answer

One way to deter lying is not setting your child up to lie. If you know they haven’t picked up their toys in their room, there’s no need to ask if they’ve cleaned up. Preschool-aged kids especially often lie out of a desire to avoid getting in trouble. Instead, let them know that you already know the truth — they haven’t picked up. This step avoids putting them in a position in which they feel the need to lie.

4. Avoid Labeling

It’s never a good idea to call your child a liar. In the short term, it puts them on the defensive. Over time, they may start to believe that they’re a liar and continue acting on that misinformation.

Instead, help your child understand that you don’t like their lies, but you love them. If something sounds untrue, let them know that you feel they may be speaking dishonestly, and give them the opportunity to explain why they lied.

5. Tell Them How Happy Honesty Makes You

Most little children are extremely motivated to please their parents and other authority figures. When you let them know that telling the truth makes you happy, your child may be more likely to practice honesty. It will also help them feel good about being trustworthy.

6. Practice Calm Discipline

While it may be difficult to keep your cool if you catch your child in a lie, some children are dishonest because they’re afraid their parents will have a big emotional reaction. If you tend to be harsh and punitive, they may learn to avoid telling you the truth.

Instead, approach the situation calmly when your child lies, even if that means taking a few moments to cool off. They need to know that it’s okay for them to come forward with the truth. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discipline your kids — just make sure it’s done in a calm and loving manner.

7. Praise Honesty

Telling the truth takes a lot of courage, especially when a child is afraid of punishment. When your little one comes to you with the truth, reward them with praise. This reaction will help you child feel great about their honestly, particularly in situations where a lie would have been easier.

Find Childcare That Supports Your Home Values

Haymarket Children’s Academy is proud to bring an unparalleled early education experience to children in the Gainesville, Virginia area. Our caregivers have years of experience working with young children and are on hand to teach our organization’s intrinsic values, including honesty and integrity. Through love, patience and kindness, we help children explore their world and learn how to interact with others in it.

If you want to learn more, we invite you to contact us to speak with a friendly member of our team or schedule a tour at our state-of-the-art facility.

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